NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday announced that Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB) of Cincinnati and its former CFO Daniel Poston had settled charges of "improper accounting of commercial real estate loans in the midst of the financial crisis."
Fifth Third agreed to pay a $6.5 million fine, while Poston agreed to pay $100,000 and "be suspended from practicing as an accountant on behalf of any publicly traded company or other entity regulated by the SEC."
Poston had been demoted from the CFO position and named Fifth Third's "chief strategy and administrative officer in November, when Fifth Third announced its agreement to settle the charges.
The SEC accused the bank and Poston of failing to classify a pool of nonperforming commercial real estate loans as "held-for-sale" during the third quarter of 2008, even though the bank had already decided to sell the loans. Recategorizing the loans during the third quarter of 2008 would have included a significant write down, which would have "increased Fifth Third's pretax loss for the quarter by 132 percent."
The SEC said Poston during the third quarter of 2008 was "familiar with the company's loan sale efforts, which included entering into agreements with brokers during the third quarter of 2008 to market and sell loans." The regulatory added that "Despite understanding the relevant accounting rules, Poston failed to direct Fifth Third to classify and value the loans as required," and that the former CFO made inaccurate statements to auditors. Poston also made inaccurate statements to Fifth Third's auditors about the company's loan classifications, and certified the company's inaccurate results for the third quarter of 2008.
Neither Fifth Third nor Poston admitted any wrongdoing.
Fifth Third's shares were down slightly during the final hour of trading Wednesday, to $19.93.
FITB data by YCharts
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10 Best Telecom Stocks To Own Right Now: AmeriGas Partners L.P. (APU)
AmeriGas Partners, L.P. operates as a retail and wholesale distributor of propane gas, and related equipment and supplies in the United States. As of November 8, 2012, it served approximately 2 million residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural, wholesale, and motor fuel customers in 50 states through approximately 2,000 propane distribution locations. The company also sells, installs, and services propane appliances, including heating systems. It markets propane primarily under the AmeriGas, America's Propane Company, Heritage Propane, Titan Propane, and Relationships Matter trade names and related service marks. Its propane is used for home heating, water heating, and cooking purposes; to fire furnaces, as a cutting gas, and in other process applications; as a supplemental fuel and motor fuel; and for tobacco curing, chicken brooding, and crop drying applications. AmeriGas Propane, Inc. serves as the general partner of the company. AmeriGas Partners, L.P. was foun ded in 1994 and is based in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By The Part-time Investor]
I sold AmeriGas Partners (APU), 339 shares at $43.78, and replaced it with UGI Corp, which is the general partner for APU, 379 shares at $39.29.
I sold ONEOK Partners (OKS), 265 shares at $51.25, and replaced it with ONEOK inc. (OKE), 267 shares at $52.31.
- [By Dan Caplinger]
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- [By Robert Rapier]
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- [By Holly LaFon]
We expect LKQ to continue their consolidating acquisition strategy, especially overseas, as there is a vacuum of supply for alternative parts in the European Union. Much of this has to do with long-颅��tanding legislation that made it difficult to utilize or even forbade the use of aftermarket collision parts. More expensive, OEM parts have dominated the collision replacement parts market, with European alternative parts utilization (APU) in the single-颅��igit percentages (recall APU is ~1/3rd in the U.S.). However, as the region began overturning restrictive legislation during the middle of the last decade, a healthier supply and demand dynamic for alternative parts has emerged.
Top 5 Regional Bank Stocks To Watch Right Now: Renesola Ltd.(SOL)
ReneSola Ltd, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the manufacture and sale of solar wafers and solar power products. It offers virgin polysilicons, monocrystalline and multicrystalline solar wafers, and photovoltaic cells and modules. The company also provides cell and module processing services. Its products are used in a range of residential, commercial, industrial, and other solar power generation systems. The company sells its solar wafers primarily to solar cell and module manufacturers. It principally operates in Mainland China, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea, India, Australia, Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium, France, the Czech Republic, and the United States. The company was founded in 2003 and is based in Jiashan, the People?s Republic of China.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Paul Ausick]
Notable earnings reports currently on tap for next week: Qihu 360 Technology Co. Ltd. (NASDAQ: QIHU), Avago Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ: AVGO), LDK Solar Co. Ltd. (NYSE: LDK), Tiffany & Co. (NYSE: TIF), Joy Global Inc. (NYSE: JOY), Campbell Soup Co. (NYSE: CPB), JA Solar Holdings Co. Ltd. (NASDAQ: JASO), Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. (NYSE: KKD), and ReneSola Ltd. (NYSE: SOL).
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Digital Signage is a method advertisers can use to promote, inform, educate, and entertain clients and customers about their businesses and products. Through Digital Signage, companies and businesses can use a single television or a series of networked flat liquid crystal display (LCD) or Plasma screens to market their services and products on site to their clients and customers in real time. Data Call specializes in allows its clients to create their own Digital Signage dynamic content feeds delivered, through Internet, to digital display devices (plasma, LCD, Jumbotron, Kiosks) at their establishments.
The Direct Lynk System allows customers to select from the pre-determined data and information services. The client may choose which individual locations and which displays they would like to receive the Company's feeds based on how their digital signage network is configured.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Peter Graham]
Small cap small cap Internet, app or digital signage stocks Blast Applications, Inc (OTCMKTS: BLAP), TGFIN Holdings Inc (OTCMKTS: TGFN) and Data Call Technologies, Inc (OTCMKTS: DCLT) were getting some extra attention last week. Specifically, two of these stocks have been the subject of paid promotions while the third surged 114.29% on Friday. With that in mind, here is a closer look along with a reality check on all three small cap stocks:
Top 5 Regional Bank Stocks To Watch Right Now: Hudson Global Inc (HSON)
Hudson Global, Inc. (Hudson) incorporated on January 1, 2003, provides specialized professional-level recruitment and related talent solutions worldwide. The Company's Core service offerings include Permanent Recruitment, Contract Consulting, Legal eDiscovery, Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) and Talent Management solutions. As of December 31, 2012, the Company operated in 20 countries with three geographic business segments: Hudson Americas, Hudson Asia Pacific, and Hudson Europe. The Company's core service offerings include Permanent Recruitment, Contract Consulting, Legal eDiscovery,RPO and Talent Management Solutions.
The Company's Permanent Recruitment services leverage the firm's more than 1,200 consultants, supported by the Company's psychologists and other scientific specialists in the development and delivery of its methods to identify, select and engage the best-fit talent for critical client roles. In Contract Consulting, Hudson provides a range of project management, interim management and professional contract staffing services. Hudson's Legal eDiscovery services consists of eDiscovery solutions, managed document review including logistical deployment, project management, process design and productivity management, and contract attorney staffing. Hudson's RPO delivers outsourced recruitment solutions tailored to the individual needs of mid- to large-cap multinational companies. Hudson RPO services include complete recruitment outsourcing, project-based outsourcing, contingent workforce solutions and recruitment consulting. Hudson's Talent Management Solutions capability encompasses services such as talent assessment, interview training, executive coaching, employee development and outplacement.
The Company's clients include small to large-sized corporations and government agencies. As of December 31, 2012 , there were approximately 460 Hudson Americas clients, 1,200 Hudson Asia Pacific clients and 2,700 Hudson Europe clients.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By John Udovich]
Staffing 360 Solutions Inc. Having a consolidation strategy that is well suited for the highly fragmented temporary staffing industry, small cap Staffing 360 Solutions intends to become a major international publicly-held staffing organization with diversified staffing services by engaging in a targeted accretive acquisition strategy. Staffing 360 Solutions has already developed a significant pipeline of acquisition targets in the IT, financial, accounting, healthcare and banking industries. Moreover, its executive chairman Brendan Flood spent seven years at Hudson Global Inc (NASDAQ: HSON) in various roles in Europe and the United States, culminating with him leading the company's IPO and listing of its common stock on the Nasdaq National Market in 2003. During 2004 and 2005 he was the CFO/COO for Hudson North America (returning the business to profitability after several loss-making years) while�prior to the IPO, it should be noted that Hudson was part of what is now Monster Worldwide, Inc (NYSE: MWW). CEO Matt Briand also has 17 years of staffing industry experience from various recruitment, sales, management and executive roles. On Wednesday, Staffing 360 Solutions issued an updated forecast for the next three fiscal quarters is as follows: $24.1 million for the quarter ending May 31, 2014, $30.2 million for the quarter ending August 31, 2014, and $32.1 million for the quarter ending November 30, 2014. Staffing 360 Solutions has also recently completed the acquisition of�PeopleSERVE, which�provides IT professional and management consultants on a contract and direct hire basis to state and local government, multinational and regional businesses and entrepreneurial firms throughout the greater Boston area.�On Wednesday, Staffing 360 Solutions fell 0.50% to $1.99 (STAF has a 52 week trading range of $0.55 to $2.10 a share) for a market cap of $60.98 million plus the stock is down 0.5% since the start of the year, up 20.6% over the past year and up 165.3% ove
- [By John Udovich] Staffing 360 Solutions Inc. Having a consolidation strategy that is well suited for the highly fragmented temporary staffing industry, small cap Staffing 360 Solutions is an interesting staffing stock because it intends to become a major international publicly-held staffing organization�through a�targeted accretive acquisition strategy.�The company�has already developed a significant pipeline of acquisition targets in the IT, financial, accounting, healthcare and banking industries while its executive chairman Brendan Flood spent seven years at Hudson Global Inc (NASDAQ: HSON) in various roles in Europe and the United States. His stint at�Hudson Global�culminated with him leading the company's IPO on the Nasdaq in 2003. During 2004 and 2005, Flood was also the CFO/COO for Hudson North America when he returned the business to profitability after several loss-making years (Note:�Before the�IPO, Hudson was part of what is now Monster Worldwide, Inc (NYSE: MWW)). In addition, CEO Matt Briand has 17 years of staffing industry experience from various recruitment, sales, management and executive roles. Back in June,�Staffing 360 Solutions announced revised revenue guidance for the company's fiscal quarter ended May 31, 2014, with revenue now expected to be in excess of $26.8 million, as opposed to the verses a previously forecast amount of $24.1 million for an increase of $2.7 million or 11% over the forecast. The update also noted that Staffing 360 Solutions has�successfully completed five acquisitions over the past year, including operations in the United States and Europe.�Moreover, Staffing 360 Solutions previously reported revenues of approximately $557,000 for the quarter ended May 31, 2013 versus $26.8 million for the quarter ended May 31, 2014 for a year-over-year increase of $26.2 million or 4,711%. On Thursday, Staffing 360 Solutions fell 1.02% to $1.95 (STAF has a 52 week trading range of $0.55 to $2.20 a share) for a market cap of $59.75 mill